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Effects of prescribed burning on ground cover in the New Jersey pine region

Effects of prescribed burning on ground cover in the New Jersey pine region

Ecology 34(3): 520-528

ISSN/ISBN: 0012-9658

DOI: 10.2307/1929724

The purpose of prescribed burning on shrub cover is to reduce it greatly. The practice affects all spp. but not to the same extent. Gaylussacia spp. show the most pronounced changes. The herbs and mosses in general increase in cover with increased frequency of burning. Cutting the trees results in an increase in cover for the shrub, herb, and moss layers whether the areas have been burned or not; the effects are greatest where the burning has been most frequent. In the moss layer, the lichens rather than the mosses increase with the increased light. Cutting the trees causes decrease in litter cover and cover of Gaylussacia baccata. The importance of the changes in the lower layers of vegetation resulting from prescribed burning lies in their effect on tree reproduction (pine being favored), rainfall interception, animal populations, changed habitat for insect fauna, plant disease reservoir, and the problem of fire control.

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